Tag Archives: Ethan Henry
Asked to spotlight specific problems and potential solutions, everybody had a story of racism infecting the South Florida theater community. Some cited unintentional micro-aggressions in pressure-laden rehearsals. Others underscored systemic failings whose reform will require leaders, supporters and audiences to revaluate everything from what goes on stage to who decides what goes on stage.
Rage and defiance – against racism, against betrayal, against cruelty, fate and death itself – washes out into the audience with a ferocity rarely seen in Florida theater in The M Ensemble Company’s powerful production of August Wilson’s masterpiece Fences.
Imagine white water rapids raging past you; now imagine the liquid is molten lava – a heedless force of nature threatening to destroy everything. Such images are the by-product of watching the incomparable Ethan Henry bringing one of August Wilson’s tragic heroes to three-dimensional life in M Ensemble’s The Piano Lesson.
Lanford Wilson’s wistful and whimsical play Redwood Curtain postulates that the past we stock our psyche with becomes something integral to our being that has to be faced down if we are to move beyond it. It gets a well-meaning outing from the fledgling Primal Forces Production. It’s an intriguing evening that starts the brain cogitating about the themes, but as theater it doesn’t land solidly.
Here’s a look back at 2014 including a very subjective subjunctive reductive list of outstanding shows, performances and developments guaranteed to make someone unhappy they were not on the list. Take comfort in that there was so much good work that this is the crème de la crème de menthe.
More than a dozen shows are open and a lot of holiday/family demands are battling for space on your calendar. But shoehorn in Primal Force’s stunning production of a scorching play few have heard of, Sunset Baby, by a playwright few have heard of, Dominique Morisseau.
The overall picture may seem a bit disjointed and fuzzy, but the world premiere of The Cuban Spring at New Theatre incisively depicts the complexities of Cuban-American families in modern Miami as their American-born generation conflicts with parents struggling with ghosts of their birthplace.
Some vibrant performances – one of them pure electricity – rescue M Ensemble’s uneven production of Charles Smith’s intriguing but flawed script about boldface names from the Harlem Renaissance, Knock Me A Kiss.
It starts slow, so slow that you fear it may never get going. But when Palm Beach Dramaworks’ A Raisin in the Sun finally gets rolling, the emotional wallops arrive in every deepening wave of gut-wrenching, heart-rending passion, arguably all the more potent for having emerged from such a quiet, prosaic run up.